Rice football punter Jack Fox has accomplished just about everything he can at the collegiate level. Next stop? The NFL.
Jack Fox, the even-keeled leader of the 2018 Rice football team, can seldom be found without a gentle grin plastered across his face. It’s hard to blame him; he’s had plenty to be happy about this season.
Fox’s accolades stretch far and wide. He was the only Rice player named to the All-Conference USA preseason team and the only one of the Owls to make first team All-Conference at season’s end. If that wasn’t enough, he was named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award, given annually to the nation’s top punter. Most recently he was named Conference USA’s Special Team’s Player of the year, the first punter to ever win the award.
Through all of the accolades, Jack Fox has stayed levelheaded and complimentary of those around him. “A lot went into it, obviously a lot more than one player,” said Fox as he looked back on the season and the CUSA special teams honor. “My name is on the award, but we have to have a good gameplan and really good execution from all 11 guys on the field.”
Those 11 guys, several teams deep are a part of the legacy Fox is leaving at South Main. In the midst of his record-breaking season, Rice football has undergone a culture shift that started with special teams. The oft-forgotten third phase of the game has been given a seat of honor (literally) and now includes the entire roster. Everyone from the stars to the scout team plays special teams.
“People understand now that if you play on offense or defense you’re going to play special teams. That’s just part of the Rice culture now. Nobody is too good for special teams. Nobody is too good for anything here,” Fox proclaimed.
With that honest admission, Fox echoed all head coach Mike Bloomgren has been working for months to achieve. Rice strives for excellence in all they do, from special teams all the way to the top. There’s no way around it, as much as Fox seeks to distance himself from the spotlight, he’s going out on top.
Now the only question that remains for Fox is what’s next? If things go as he hopes, the NFL. He’s currently in the process of finding an agent and preparing for the NFL Draft. Drafted or not, Fox is working as best he can to familiarize himself with his next challenge and making a way to play at the next level.
He’s been in contact with James Farrimond frequently this season, his predecessor at Rice and a fellow Ray Guy watch list member. Farrimond never made it to the league, but he did participate in the pre-draft process, something Fox says has already been extremely helpful. Farrimond, along with Bloomgren, have already begun prepping Fox for his shot at becoming a professional football player.
Fox understands the weight of what lies in front of him. “It would mean the world to me, obviously it’s the dream,” he admitted. But with the same grin he’d wore form the start, he looked confidently on and offered one direct promise. “All I need is a shot.”
He’s going to get a shot. His leg alone makes him worth an audition, but his passion and character leave no remaining doubt. If Fox isn’t the kind of guy you want in your locker room, who is? Rice football doesn’t part with Jack Fox willingly, but they know he has bigger things ahead. He’ll have a new jersey on soon enough.
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